Saturday, 19 May 2007

Finding Maddy

We walked the dog this morning along a quiet headland surrounded by fading bluebells, campion, the last of the wild garlic and an abundance of golden buttercups, like drops of gold. Suddenly a heavy shower came along, and as we rounded the corner, we saw a man swathed in layers of clothing, packing up a tent. He avoided looking at us and, my imagination running riot, I called Mollie away hurriedly. After a quick sniff, she started and followed us, keen to be off.
A few minutes later we met two little girls, laughing and joking, and we walked on, expecting a parent to be with them. No parent arrived but we rounded another corner and met a woman camping with about four children; we asked if she had two daughters and she said yes. We explained about the dubious camper and she hurried off. She must be the only non-paranoid mother in the world at the moment; I hope her children are safe and well. The longer this nightmare goes on over poor little Madeleine, the sicker it makes me feel. This terrible story has become part of all of us, and we wait daily for some news - anything. There are too many questions - who, why, where, when, how? And no answers.

Just returned from spending an hour or so with elderly James - a re-run of his problems with his ancient music system which is knackered. We spent hours this week trying to find a cheapish CD player like ours to no avail - everywhere seems to have sold out. HImself spent another hour this morning on the phone ringing round and when we rang James he asked if we could go round and explain things to him. This is not as easy as it might sound.
He thought he could play CDs on the video recorder in the kitchen, and when we went next door to look at the television, he looked at it blankly and said, 'what's that?' It's hard not to cry - he's so helpless and vulnerable, like a toddler, and equally likely to fall over. And yet he's so trusting, and life must be so frustrating for him. It makes me think, I don't want to get old. Don't let me be like this.
When we finally left, having explained things over and over again, we were no further forward onthe music front than we were a week ago, but at least he's able to laugh at himself, dear man.

1 comment:

Rebecca Taunton said...

Having seen this in my partner's grandmother and also a friend of my mother, I can sympathise with your fear of growing old and not wanting to go down hill in such a way. It's so heartbreaking when solid, capable people start that spiral downwards into old age and confusion. But it isn't always that way, and as long as he has friends like you and Pip, I'm sure he'll be okay.

Keep up the blog!